GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 67-16
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


PIATEK, Jennifer L., Department of Geological Sciences, Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06050, THOMAS, Christian, Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45710, TODD, Anna C., Geological Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80310, PRITCHARD, Caroline E., Bioengineering, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015, MORRIS, Malea, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, WHITMEYER, Steven J., Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University, 395 S. HIgh St, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, ATCHISON, Christopher L., School of Education and Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, 511E Teachers College, P.O. Box 210002, Cincinnati, OH 45221, ERIKSSON, Susan C., Eriksson Associates LLC, 3980 Broadway, Suite 103 #168, Boulder, CO 80304, MARSHALL, Anita M., James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, CARABAJAL, Ivan G., Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, 500 Geology-Physics Building, P.O. Box 210013, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0013 and PYLE, Eric J., Department of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, VA 22807,

Geoscience students, including those in preservice education programs, benefit from field-based experiences that allow them to explore and apply concepts learned in classes to real-world situations. When access to field sites is difficult or impossible, virtual field experiences can be created using digital imagery such as interactive high-resolution panoramas (e.g., GigaPans) and videos in coordination with digitized maps and satellite images. In addition to traditional exercises presented in classrooms and labs, students can also benefit from generating the material for the virtual field trips by developing well-researched image descriptions and questions related to the concepts presented in images.

We present a set of virtual field experiences developed for and by students involved in our GEOPATH project “Engaging Students in Inclusive Geoscience Field Experiences via Onsite-Remote Partnerships". These exercises, based on locations in northern Arizona, are intended for introductory level geoscience courses and include concepts such as stratigraphy and geologic time (Oak Creek Canyon and the Grand Canyon), volcanology (the San Francisco Volcanic Field), and planetary geology (Meteor Crater).

Virtual field experiences such as the one discussed here are available from the GEODE project ( Resources such as this present opportunities for students to explore geosciences concepts in a hands-on way, especially if other obstacles prevent direct access to field sites.